Singapore, October 4, 2007 - Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) won the Singapore Corporate Governance Award (Merit) and the Most Transparent Company Award at the SIAS Investors Choice Awards 2007 held this evening at the Raffles Ballroom, Raffles City Convention Centre.
Adding to SPH’s accolades were Lorna Tan, The Straits Times’ senior correspondent and Michelle Quah, The Business Times’ senior correspondent who both clinched the Financial Journalist of The Year Award. Journalist Fiona Chan of The Straits Times was also named the Most Promising Journalist of the Year.
Tony Mallek, Executive Vice-President, Finance, who received the corporate awards on behalf of SPH, said: "We see this achievement as a recognition of the high standard of corporate governance and transparency practised by the company through the sustained effect of making prompt announcements, producing quality annual reports, and holding regular meetings with the media and analysts.
"In an effort to be more transparent and to keep shareholders informed, we also publish easy-to-digest announcements of our quarterly financial results in the main newspapers. In addition, we have a corporate hotline number and email for investors and the public to post their queries and a corporate website with links to all our products for key information on the group."
SIAS, a non-profit organization, is the largest investor lobby group in Asia, with almost 66,000 retail investors as members. It actively promotes Investor Education, Corporate Transparency and Corporate Governance and is the watchdog for Investor rights. It launched the "Most Transparent Company Award" in 2000 to encourage public-listed companies to be more transparent so as to help investors make informed decisions on their investments.
The Singapore Corporate Governance Award was added in 2003 to spur companies to benchmark themselves against best practices outlined in the Singapore Code of Corporate Governance.
As retail investors have to rely largely on the media for financial information to guide their investment decisions, SIAS introduced the awards for journalists in 2001 to encourage more accurate and useful financial reporting to help small investors.
Lorna Tan’s win this year makes her the only journalist to have been honoured thrice by SIAS. She bagged a Special Award in 2003 and the Best Financial Story of the Year award in 2005.
On her winning this year, Lorna said: "I’m very honoured to receive this prestigious award which recognises my efforts in writing impactful financial stories that touch the hearts of readers. The task of financial education is a continuous process. I try my best to write stories that can inform, influence and even inspire, but they can do so only to the extent that readers are determined to use them towards those ends. My job is not done till every reader has a vision of how they want to achieve some sense of financial freedom. I am grateful for the support of my editors who recognise the significance of my stories and provided the direction."
Michelle Quah, who shares this year’s honour with Lorna, was described by Alvin Tay, The Business Times Editor as "a highly-valued member of The Business Times team who has written countless thought-provoking articles on corporate governance and other topics of great relevance and interest to the retail investors."
Commenting on the factors she thought contributed to her win, Michelle said: “I think much of it has to do with the areas I cover - corporate governance, disclosure and transparency, and the protection of minority interests - which sync with the interests of SIAS. On a broader level, I feel the people around me have really supported me. My colleagues, that is, my wonderful fellow corporate-crime reporters and my editors, my contacts - who have given me great scoop after great scoop, tutoring and good advice - and my friends and family who’ve kept me sane.”
Newcomer Fiona Chan, who started her journalism career only two years ago, said: "I am extremely honoured to win the Most Promising Journalist of the Year award because there are many other very good young financial journalists in Singapore. I’m also humbled that my editors chose to nominate me in the first place. I will be more driven to work even harder now so that I can live up to the award."
The Guest of Honour at the event was Lim Hwee Hua, Minister of State for Finance and Transport. Mr. Hsieh Fu Hua, CEO, Stock Exchange of Singapore and Mr. Jim Rogers, Founder, Rogers Raw Materials Index were also present.
The Investors´ Choice Awards are endorsed and supported by the Singapore Exchange, Standard & Poors, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Singapore Institute of Directors, Institute of Certified Public Accountants Singapore, Singapore Society of Financial Analysts, Asian Corporate Governance Association, and The Business Times.
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About Singapore Press Holdings Ltd
Newspapers and Magazines
Main board-listed Singapore Press Holdings Ltd (SPH) is the leading media company in Singapore, delivering news and information through print, Internet and broadcasting platforms. In Singapore, it publishes 14 newspapers in four languages. Every day, 2.7 million individuals or 83 percent of people above 15 years old read one of SPH’s news publications. SPH also publishes over 90 magazine titles in Singapore and the region, covering a broad range of interests from lifestyle to information technology.
Internet and Mobile
Beyond print, the Internet editions of SPH newspapers enjoy over 110 million pageviews with 7 million unique visitors every month. Apart from SPH AsiaOne portal, SPH´s online and new media initiatives include a revolutionary mobile advertising and information service, ZapCode; recruitment and job search service, ST701; and STOMP (Straits Times Online Mobile Print), a portal that connects, engages and interacts with readers on the Web and via mobile phone messaging.
SPH has a 20 percent stake in MediaCorp TV Holdings Pte Ltd, which operates free-to-air channels 5, 8, U and TV Mobile, and a 40 percent stake in MediaCorp Press Pte Ltd, which publishes the free newspaper, Today. In the radio business, SPH has a 80 percent stake in SPH UnionWorks Pte Ltd, which operates entertainment stations Radio 100.3 FM in Mandarin and Radio 91.3 FM in English.
In addition, SPH has ventured into outdoor advertising through its wholly-owned subsidiary, SPH MediaBoxOffice Pte Ltd, Singapore´s largest outdoor motion display advertising network media company, and a 35 percent stake in TOM Outdoor Media Group, a leading outdoor advertising company in China.
SPH owns and manages Paragon, the prime retail and office complex in the heart of Orchard Road, Singapore’s main shopping belt. SPH’s wholly owned subsidiary, Times Development Pte Ltd, is also developing a 43-storey upmarket residential condominium, Sky@eleven, at Thomson Road.